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quinta-feira, 12 de julho de 2012

Baal’s Bridge Square - O Esquadro da Ponte Baal

The Warrant no.13 was issued to 'Antient Union Lodge' in Limerick, on the
22nd November 1732. However, this date only coincides with a time when
records began for Antient Union Lodge 13.

have in their archives a old brass square that was found under the
foundations of Baals Bridge. This Square dated 1507 is reputed to be one of
the earliest Masonic items in the world.

The old brass square, known as the Baal's Bridge Square, was recovered from
the foundations of Baal's Bridge in Limerick when the bridge was being
rebuilt in 1830. It is inscribed "I WILL STRIVE TO LIVE WITH LOVE AND CARE
UPON THE LEVEL BY THE SQUARE" and bears the date, 1507. You can also see a
heart in the center.

I think this is really exciting. Of course one can say this is not proof by
any measure of the official existence of Freemasonry prior to the U.G.L.E.
constituting itself in 1717, it may just be an early example of how some
measure of ethical symbolism was associated on occasion with the implements
of stone masonry.

However with enough other empirical evidence around supporting the existence
of Freemasonry deep into history, I think that this artifact is tied to
Freemasonry. The concepts presented in the inscription upon it are not
foreign to any Mason. The inscription is evidence that people, some
obviously who were stone masons, were discussing philosophical concepts and
that those concepts were being allegorically applied to the working tools of
stone masons.

Is this evidence that Freemasonry is founded in the structures of laboring
masons in medieval Europe? Or is this evidence of the beginnings of a new
society during a period of meshing between the fallouts of the Order of
Knights Templar in hiding bringing their teachings and concepts of life to a
layman's trade?

Really the speculation can go anywhere. I don't know if you can feel hot or
cold about this artifact pointing to evidence of ancient practicing
Freemasons, but I would say it's definitely warm.

This ancient Square, carefully treasured by Lodge 13 is recorded as being
presented to Brother Michael Furnell,
Provincial Grand Master, by Brother James Pain, (referred to as the
Provincial Grand Architect).

In the Freemasons' Quarterly Review, 1842, p. 288, Bro. Furnell, under the
date of 27th. August, 1842, printed a short note on this relic of antiquity,
accompanying which is a facsimile sketch. He says that Bro. Pain, in 1830,
had been contractor for re-building Baals Bridge in Limerick, and on taking
down the old structure, he discovered under the foundation stone at the
English town side, this old brass square, much eaten away. In the facsimile
sketch, Bro, Furnell puts the date as 1517, which is a mistake, as the
square bears the date 1507. A heart appears in each angle.

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